Federal cuts cause closing of Woodhill Child Development Center

The Woodhill Child Development Center, which serves 75 children, will close Aug. 1 because of cuts in federal funding.

The Community Action Council is closing the center at 2350 Woodhill Drive because of cuts from sequestration — automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending that took effect earlier this year, said Charlie Lanter, the council's manager for program development.

The funding cuts involved Early Head Start, Head Start and Migrant Head Start programs that are offered at the center.

Woodhill is one of 14 centers run by the council, Lanter said. Closing it was a tough decision, he said.

"All of our locations are in high-need neighborhoods. It's not like we have a child development center we don't need," he said.

Families being served by the center are being placed with other council centers and are being provided transportation as needed, he said.

"Nobody is being told to just go home," he said.

But because there are a finite number of slots available in the Head Start programs, 75 fewer Fayette County children will get the educational boost for underprivileged children that Head Start provides, he said. The council supported 885 children through the program. It will now serve 810.